The number of people working in Britain has experienced the greatest drop since 2009 and there are rising indications that the coronavirus will take a heavier toll on the labor market as the government winds down its enormous job security scheme. Driven by a record plunge in the self-employed, in the three months through June 220,000 fewer people worked, official figures showed on Tuesday.
A string of businesses are considering layoffs, from British Airways and London’s Evening Standard newspaper to WH Smith and Selfridges stores. The unemployment rate stood at 3.9 per cent unexpectedly. But this represented more people who had given up looking for jobs and were therefore not considered unemployed, and 300,000 people who claimed they worked but did not get any pay, said the Office for National Statistics.
Wage dropped the most in the April-June period in more than 10 years, down 1.2 per cent, showing how employees earn 80 per cent of their salaries on the work retention scheme. Except incentives, the pay fell for the first time since records began in 2001. However, in the three months to July, there was a significant rise in work vacancies, as small businesses took on workers to meet the requirements for coronavirus, the ONS said.